Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is an American singer who performs under the moniker Lady Gaga. She was born on March 28 1986 in Manhattan, where she was also raised. She began performing in high school plays and later studied at the Tisch School of the Arts, part of New York University.
Gaga later dropped out of university to pursue her musical career, playing in bands until she became a part of the Lower East Side avant garde performance art scene. She worked as a songwriter for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, through which she gained a deal with Interscope Records with help from the rapper Akon.
In 2008, she relocated to Los Angeles to work on her debut album, setting up a creative team she dubbed Haus Of Gaga, modeled on Andy Warhol’s Factory. Her first LP, ‘The Fame’, was released on August 19 2008 and was produced by various people, including RedOne and Rob Fusari. The record detailed Gaga’s views on fame as well as love, sex, money and drugs. It peaked at Number One on the Official Albums Chart in the UK and at Number Two on the Billboard 200. It is certified nine times platinum in the UK and triple platinum in the US.
Gaga wrote the EP, ‘The Fame Monster’, while touring ‘The Fame’, which was then released on November 19 2009. One of its singles, ‘Telephone’, featured Beyonce and was nominated for the Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals at the Grammy Awards.
Shortly after the release of ‘The Fame Monster’, the singer embarked on The Monster Ball tour, which ran for over a year and a half and grossed $227.4million. Gaga also claimed that she was asked to support on Michael Jackson’s ill-fated This Is It shows at London’s O2 Arena.
Gaga’s second album, ‘Born This Way’, was released on May 23 2011. It featured contributions from the E Street Band’s Clarence Clemons and Queen’s Brian May. It received three Grammy nominations, including Album Of The Year. The title track became the 1000th song to reach the Number One spot on the Billboard Hot 100 since the chart began in 1958. The album was later re-released with the remix album ‘Born This Way: The Remix’ as ‘Born This Way: ‘The Collection’.
Her Born This Way Ball tour began in April 2012 in Seoul but came up against some resistance as several politicians across the world protested against her performance. She was denied a license to perform in Jakarta due to several religious groups’ beliefs that the tour was Satanic and against their values. She later cancelled the last leg of the tour due to requiring hip surgery.
Work on Gaga’s third album, ‘Artpop’, began properly in 2012 with Fernando Garibay. The singer was quoted as saying she wanted to make audiences have a “really good time” with the record, aiming to reflect “a night at the club”. It was released on November 6 2013, selling 258,000 copies in its first week of release in the US.
Away from music, Gaga appeared in director Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills film. The movie was received poorly and earned Gaga a Golden Raspberry nomination for Worst Supporting Actress. She hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live in November 2013, closing the programme with a rendition of her collaboration with R Kelly, ‘Do What U Want’.
Gaga also collaborated with jazz artist Tony Bennett on a record of jazz music, titled ‘Cheek To Cheek’. It was released on September 19 2014 and went straight to the top of the Billboard 200, Gaga’s third album to do so.
In 2015, Gaga is set to become the first artist to perform in space, as part of the Zero G Colony music festival.